Butterfly needle with passive guard
A butterfly needle device having a passive needle protection system includes a needle that has a proximal end, a distal tip and defines a needle axis. A cylindrical base member having an axially aligned groove is disposed over the needle with a first wing extending radially from the base member. A second wing is provided for rotation about the needle axis relative to the first wing between a closed configuration in which the wings are juxtaposed and an open configuration in which the wings are displaced from each other. A cylindrical needle guard having a plug is disposed over the needle. A spring biases the needle guard distally relative to the base member. A wing-activated mechanism is provided to align the plug with the groove after a closed-open-closed wing cycle allowing the needle guard to distally advance to cover the needle tip at the end of the cycle.
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FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention pertains generally to butterfly needle devices (including winged needles and winged I.V. sets) for medical use. More particularly, the present invention pertains to passive safety systems for butterfly needle devices. The present invention is particularly, but not exclusively, useful for passively covering and protecting the needle of a butterfly needle device after the device has been used in a medical procedure.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Accidental needle sticks can occur in several ways. For example, a sudden movement by a patient can cause a healthcare worker to lose control of the needle, resulting in injury. Additionally, injuries can result when contaminated, unprotected needles are left unattended or disposed of improperly. Moreover, attempts to manually recap a needle after a medical procedure can also result in injury. In addition to accidental needle sticks, unnecessary exposure to bloodborne pathogens can result when a healthcare worker mistakenly re-uses a contaminated needle on a patient.
Accidental needle sticks and the inadvertent reuse of a contaminated needle have the potential to expose patients and healthcare workers to life-threatening viruses that include hepatitis and HIV. Because of this potential exposure, healthcare providers are obligated to conduct extensive testing of exposed individuals. Additional follow-up testing for HIV is typically prescribed approximately six months after the exposure. It is to be appreciated that the costs associated with the testing, lab work, the workers lost time, and the associated tracking and administrative costs, can be considerable.
One type of needle device that can cause accidental needle sticks is the butterfly needle. The butterfly needle is typically used when it is required to introduce a fluid into or withdraw a fluid from a patient over a relatively long period of time. For example, the butterfly needle can be connected to a syringe, an IV set or a blood collection holder. One advantageous feature of a butterfly needle is that it contains wings that can be folded flat and taped to the patient's skin to stabilize the device. This is especially important when the needle must remain in place for a relatively long period. Typically, the wings of a butterfly needle are initially juxtaposed to allow the healthcare worker to hold the device during insertion of the needle into the patent. After needle insertion, the wings are folded flat against the patient's skin and taped. To remove the butterfly needle, the tape is pulled up and the wings are folded together (i.e. juxtaposed). With the wings together, the needle can be easily withdrawn from the patient.
In light of the above, it is an object of the present invention to provide a passive needle protection system for a butterfly needle that is activated by the normal opening and closing of the butterfly needle wings. It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a needle protection system for a butterfly needle device that locks a guard in place to cover and protect the tip of the needle and to prevent inadvertent reuse of the device. Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a protective device for a butterfly needle that is easy to use, relatively simple to implement and comparatively cost effective.
SUMMARY OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
A butterfly needle device having a passive needle protection system includes an elongated needle that has a proximal end, a distal tip and defines a needle axis. The device further includes a hollow, cylindrical base member that is disposed over the needle and centered on the needle axis. A substantially flat first wing is attached to and extends radially from the cylindrical base member. The device further includes a first hollow cylinder that is disposed over the needle proximal to the base member and is centered on the needle axis. A second substantially flat wing is attached to and extends radially from the first hollow cylinder.
The above-described interactive cooperation of structure allows the second wing to rotate about the needle axis relative to the first wing. More specifically, the second wing can rotate relative to the first wing between a first, closed configuration in which the wings are juxtaposed and a second, open configuration in which the wings are displaced from each other by approximately one-hundred eighty degrees (180°). The closed configuration allows the healthcare worker to easily grip the wings when the needle is inserted into and withdrawn from the patient. On the other hand, the open configuration allows the wings to be taped to the patient to stabilize the device during a medical procedure which can involve the introduction of a medicament into the patient or the aspiration of a body fluid from the patient.
The device also includes a hollow, cylindrical needle guard that is disposed over the needle and positioned coaxially with the base member and first hollow cylinder. For the butterfly needle device, the needle guard is sized to pass through both the base member and first hollow cylinder, thus allowing for reciprocal axial movement of the guard relative to the base member and first hollow cylinder. In one embodiment of the device, the base member has a cylindrical shaped inner wall that is formed with an axially aligned groove that extends from the base member's proximal end to the base member's distal end. A plug extends radially from the needle guard for interaction with the groove formed on the base member.
Also for the butterfly needle device, a helical spring is provided to bias the needle guard distally relative to the base member. In a typical embodiment of the device, the helical spring is interposed between the needle guard and a needle/tubing adapter that is attached to the proximal end of the needle. With this structural combination, the needle guard is biased in the distal direction relative to the needle, the base member, the wings and the first hollow cylinder.
The device further includes a mechanism for rotating the needle guard (about the needle axis) to align the plug with the groove after the wings have been cycled from the closed configuration to the open configuration and then back to the closed configuration. This alignment of the plug and groove at the completion of the closed-open-closed wing cycle allows the needle guard to distally advance relative to the needle. Thus, at the end of the closed-open-closed wing cycle, the needle guard is free to advance to a distal position wherein the needle guard covers and protects the distal tip of the needle.
In greater structural detail, the aligning mechanism includes the first hollow cylinder (see partial description above) and a second hollow cylinder. The first hollow cylinder has an inner wall that is formed with an axially aligned slot that is provided to interact with the plug. With the plug in the slot, the guard rotates relative to the base member during movement of the second wing relative to the first wing. For the butterfly needle device, the second hollow cylinder is attached to the first wing and centered on the needle axis proximal to the first hollow cylinder. The second hollow cylinder has an inner wall that is formed with a channel for interaction with the plug.
In order, starting at the proximal end of the device and proceeding distally, the device includes the second hollow cylinder, the first hollow cylinder, and then the base member. Of these elements, the second hollow cylinder and the base member are attached to and rotate with the first wing while the first hollow cylinder, the needle/tubing adapter and the needle are attached to the second wing. Together, the first and second hollow cylinders and the base member form a continuous passageway that is sized to allow the cylindrical needle guard to axially travel through the passageway.
In use, the plug is initially located in the channel of the second hollow cylinder and the wings are juxtaposed (i.e. positioned in the closed configuration). Next, the distal tip of the needle is inserted into the patient. With the needle inserted, the wings are rotated open, causing the second hollow cylinder to rotate relative to the first hollow cylinder. At the end of this rotation, the channel and slot are aligned. Accordingly, the plug advances distally from the channel and into the slot. After an injection or withdrawal of fluid from the patient, the wings are rotated closed. As the healthcare worker closes the wings, the first hollow cylinder rotates relative to the base member and when the wings are juxtaposed, the slot in the first hollow cylinder aligns with the groove in the base member. With this alignment, the plug (and needle guard) are free to advance distally until the needle guard is positioned over the distal tip of the needle.
The butterfly needle device can further include a locking mechanism to lock the needle guard in place once the needle guard has advanced into position covering the distal tip of the needle. In greater structural detail, the locking mechanism can include a deflectable tab that extends from the needle guard and terminates in a tab end. Specifically, the tab is deflectable from a first position wherein the tab end is distanced from the needle axis by a distance d1, to a second position wherein the tab end is distanced from the needle axis by a distance d2, with d1>d2. A catch recess is formed in the base member to receive the tab when the needle guard is in position covering the distal tip of the needle. The catch recess prevents proximal movement of the tab, and thus, once the tab is in the catch recess, the needle guard is locked over the needle to protect against accidental needle sticks or inadvertent re-use.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The novel features of this invention, as well as the invention itself, both as to its structure and its operation, will be best understood from the accompanying drawings, taken in conjunction with the accompanying description, in which similar reference characters refer to similar parts, and in which:
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
Referring initially to
As best seen in
Continuing with reference to
Also shown in
As indicated above with reference to
The device 10 further includes a mechanism for regulating the distal movement of the needle guard 36 during the closed-open-closed cycle. Specifically, as best seen in
With cross-reference to
With cross-reference now to
To lock the wings 28, 34, the second winged element 30 can include a locking cylinder 66 that is positioned distally relative to the base member 26 and centered on the axis 22 when the device 10 is assembled. The locking cylinder 66 is formed with a keyway 68 that is aligned with the groove 44 when the wings 28, 34 are juxtaposed. When the needle guard 36 is in a distal position covering the tip 20 of the needle 16, a portion of the plug 42 is in the keyway 68 and a portion of the plug 42 is in the groove 44 preventing rotational movement of wing 28 relative to wing 34.
While the particular devices and methods as herein shown and disclosed in detail are fully capable of obtaining the objects and providing the advantages herein before stated, it is to be understood that they are merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown other than as described in the appended claims.
1. A butterfly needle device having a passive needle protection system comprising:
- an elongated needle having a proximal end and a distal tip, said needle defining an axis;
- a first winged element disposed over said needle;
- a second winged element positioned on said first winged element for rotation about said needle axis relative to said first winged element;
- a hollow needle guard disposed over said needle for reciprocal axial movement relative thereto;
- a means for biasing said needle guard distally relative to said needle; and
- a means for initially holding said needle guard in a proximal position relative to said needle wherein said distal tip of said needle is exposed and for releasing said needle guard to axially advance into a distal position to cover and protect said distal tip of said needle with said needle guard in response to a pre-selected rotational movement of said second winged element relative to said first winged element.
2. A butterfly needle device as recited in claim 1 wherein said first winged element comprises:
- a hollow, cylindrical base member disposed over said needle and centered on said axis; and
- a first wing attached to and extending from said cylindrical base member.
3. A butterfly needle device as recited in claim 2 wherein said second winged element comprises:
- a hollow cylinder; and
- a second wing attached to and extending from said hollow cylinder.
4. A butterfly needle device as recited in claim 3 wherein said second wing is positioned for rotation about said axis relative to said first wing between a closed configuration wherein said wings are juxtaposed and an open configuration wherein said wings are displaced from each other by approximately one-hundred eighty degrees (180°) and said pre-selected rotational movement comprises a cycle of said first and second wings from said closed configuration to said open configuration and then back to said closed configuration.
5. A butterfly needle device as recited in claim 4 wherein said holding and releasing means comprises a plug extending radially from said needle guard, an axially aligned groove formed on said base member and positioned for interaction with said plug, and a slot formed on said hollow cylinder and positioned for interaction with said plug.
6. A butterfly needle device as recited in claim 5 wherein said hollow cylinder is a first hollow cylinder and said holding and releasing means further comprises a second hollow cylinder attached to said first wing and positioned coaxially with said guard, said second hollow cylinder formed with a channel positioned for interaction with said plug.
7. A butterfly needle device as recited in claim 1 further comprising a needle/tubing adapter attached to said proximal end of said needle, and wherein said biasing means comprises a spring disposed between said needle/tubing adapter and said needle guard.
8. A butterfly needle device as recited in claim 1 further comprising a means for locking said needle guard in position covering said distal tip of said needle.
9. A butterfly needle device as recited in claim 8 wherein said first winged element comprises a hollow, cylindrical base member disposed over said needle and centered on said axis and a first wing attached to and extending from said cylindrical base member, and wherein said locking means comprises a tab extending from said needle guard to a tab end, said tab biased toward a first position wherein said tab end is distanced from said axis by a distance d1 and away from a second position wherein said tab end is distanced from said axis by a distance d2, with d1>d2, said locking means further comprising a catch recess formed in said base member to receive said tab and lock said needle guard.
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Filed: May 9, 2003
Date of Patent: Jan 11, 2005
Patent Publication Number: 20040225261
Assignee: Visual Connections (San Diego, CA)
Inventor: Don Millerd (San Diego, CA)
Primary Examiner: Michael J. Hayes
Attorney: Nydegger & Associates
Application Number: 10/434,717